One is underwater. One is dark, but dry. And one is basically normal.
NEW YORK -- This city is proudly kaleidoscopic. But in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, there are three New Yorks. The first is underwater. The second is dry and dark. And the third is, rather miraculously, as close to normal as anybody could possibly expect after what might be the worst storm to touch Manhattan in recorded history.
And that is the single most surprising thing about being a New Yorker in the wake of Sandy. In the span of a 20 minute bike ride from Lower Manhattan to the 50s, you can pass one city floating underwater, one city dark and abandoned, and, finally, one city with lights and coffee lines and frantic people pushing through throngs of pedestrians -- in other words, typical New York.
For most of last night, before the lights went out in terrifying fashion, my roommates and I were firmly and snugly in the latter New York.
The streets of Battery Park, where I had wandered around in a Halloween costume no more than 48 hours earlier, now resembled an aquarium in the photos coming over Twitter and the local news. On the other side of Manhattan's southern tip, the Lower East Side was a pool of bobbing car hoods. But in our apartment, eleven stories up in Union Square, buffeted from both rising rivers by six avenue blocks, there was, simply, boredom. We were hungry. We were antsy. We were sick of protein bars and bananas, which, devastatingly, made up about 90% of our food supply. Every few seconds, the windows looking over 17th Street throbbed and flexed. But so far, the weather reaching the middle of the island wasn't hideous. It was barely even inclement.